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Farm Safety Day brings out 160 kids

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Children gather around the lawn mower safety display, where they were shown proper gear and precautions when cutting the lawn. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Children gather around the lawn mower safety display, where they were shown proper gear and precautions when cutting the lawn. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Progressive Agriculture's Farm Safety Day had quite the turnout in Forest last week -  registration was completely booked up and 160 kids attended the educational seminar. 

Organizer Carlie Douglas said it was the first time they had seen registration filled for their maximum of 175, and for those who missed out, they’ve already set the date for 2018. 

“It’s definitely an increase from last year…it’s been amazing and we’ve never had that before,” Douglas said.  

Some of the stations included ATV safety, lawn mower safety and tractor safety, but it wasn’t just strictly farming education. They also held discussions on poisonous plants and sun safety, but Douglas said most of the booths are helpful to anyone, including those who aren’t farmers.

“There are tractors everywhere, not just on farms,” she said. “We try to keep it fairly even between farm related and roadway safety…that’s for everybody.”

Douglas also said it can be a good refresher for adults to listen in, too.

“Every year it’s a little reminder to take my time, don’t be in such a rush,” she said.

Brooke-Alvinston Mayor Don McGugan and other politicians that attended the event, including MP Bev Shipley and MPP Monte McNaughton, were impressed with the set up at the Shores Community Centre.

Organizers managed to get major equipment, including a tractor and riding lawn mower, into the arena for displays.

McGugan said he’s been coming to Farm Safety Day for the last 20 years, and over that time, he’s seen a lot change.  

“We’ve got a lot more electronics and more stations to stop at,” he said. “We do need to say thanks for all the sponsors and volunteers because this couldn’t happen otherwise.”

McGugan said municipalities around the county make contributions to Lambton Farm Safety to help keep the annual event running. He said that other than some provincial funding, they don’t have many other resources.

“I think it’s really important to show we’re interested,” he said. “There’s never a better time to educate boys and girls between 6 and 12…if you learn then, you’ll remember forever…don’t take shortcuts.”

Douglas said next year’s event is set to be held at the Brigden Fair Grounds on July 5th, and she said she hopes to see more new faces.

“If the kids only take home one thing…that one thing could save their life in the future, or the lives of others,” Douglas said. “We’re always thankful for the community and the response from people."

mschilz@postmedia.com